Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Day 30: Minimalist

Image result for napowrimo 2019

Today's prompt is to write a minimalist poem... Here's a few.

And with that, I say adieu to NaPo! It's been tough and trying but ultimately rewarding!



clotted with memories
I rise,
my own sun


Bluebell haze
May days
how blue
the blaze


High jinx
low ink

NaPo Haiku

NaPo is over
we say goodbye to April 
thirty poems richer.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Day 29: Meditation

Image result for two stars passing each other

Today's prompt was to writ a Meditation poem. Just went with what wanted to be written instead.


The distance between me
and where I want to be
is the square root of the moon
multiplied by infinity.

But when we collide - albeit
momentarily - stars passing
clandestinely, unexpectedly 
every spinning part of me stops

and this endless realm is finite 
if but for a millisecond;
velocity of motion less than equal 
to this unparalleled emotion -

and I am where I want to be.
X marks the spot. Completely.
But I know, this centre cannot hold. 
And part, binary broken, gravity restored.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Day 28: Poetry

Image result for poetry

Today's prompt is to write a meta-poem i.e. a poem about poetry. I've done this lots of times before, so this is just a random, spontaneous outburst for now. 


Poetry is a salve
a honeycomb hive
hi-jinks jester
quicksilver tongue
a field full of wildflowers
bookmarked memories
trapeze of thoughts
mish-mash of unending 'seem'
a fishing reel into the deep
cartography of the heart
dreaming with the light on
the quiddity
of everything
inventory of living
power and shine
and keeping extravagantly alive.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Day 27: Sonnet Remix

Image result for shakespeare sonnets

Today, we had to remix a Shakespearean sonnet to come up with something different and entirely our own.

There's so many things you could do with this prompt! But I've always fancied writing the complete opposite, anti-love poem, riposte to Sonnet 18!

Shakespearean Sonnet no.18

Shall I compare thee to a winter's day?
Thou art more ugly and more miserable
than any leaden January grey. 
Rough winds, indeed, may blow my way
but my opinion will not be swayed. 
Thou art more dull than granite, 
more drab than inanimate,
as forgettable as erasable ink.
Bare as the branches of trees in November,
the sharp chill in the air come December,
and when winter's weary darkness descends,
you dear, are the heart it suspends. 
    So long as I may live and have eyes to see,
    my verse will not speak of you, believe me.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Day 25: Seasonal

Image result for green tree in spring

Today's prompt is to write a seasonal poem, using all of the senses in description and including a line that is a question. 

To try and stay away from the cliched seasonal descriptions, I've chosen to go for a poem with a darker underside, and one that resonates with my experience of spring this year. 


People don't die in spring, do they? 
When the sun returns in apricot tunes
and the twitter of birdsong stirs
the youth in us all, the hope of tomorrow. 

People don't die in spring, do they?
When the new green on trees
is a kind of belief, a resounding 'yes',
daffodils the beacons of brighter days.

People don't die in spring, do they?
When the pink flush of cherry blossoms
warm the air, a blush of love, sweetness
of sugar after the diet of winter. 

People don't die in spring, do they?
When the sky is a buoyant blue
and mornings peal out praises
and everything is just beginning again. 

People don't die in spring, do they?
When souls seem invincible, safe
from winter's danger, the world a promise
come true, a feast, ripe for the picking. 

People do die in spring, though. Despite 
the new leaves and teeming greens,
sun, sky and infinite dreams -
people die. Regardless of the season.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Day 24: Random Reference

Image result for blue butterfly

Today's prompt was to use a reference book as random inspiration. Took my ideas from A Butterfly Encyclopaedia and 'The Awemanac' an almanac of daily inspiration, to come up with a random mix. 

On This Day

A blue butterfly will land on a flower
in your path. Lycaenidae, the wish-granter.
Polyommatus Icarus, our common blue. 
The Lyrid meteor shower will peak
and you will discover an unruly truth.

Barbara Streisand was born, Shirley Mac Laine too. 
(We are into Taurus season now.) 
The leaves on the trees are a bright lime green.
Did you know there is a type of lettuce called tango?
Eat like a queen and then dance! 
Shakespeare's birthday and death day have gone
and here we are, 
under a waning pink moon. 

Thought for the day:
Somewhere, a song is begun. 
Ebullience awaits
amidst the humdrum. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Day 23: Animal

Image result for yangtze turtle dies

Today's prompt is to write about an animal. Since hearing of the death of this critically endangered Yangtze turtle, I just had to write about her. 

Yangtze Turtle Speaks

I do not bother anyone.
Succumbed in thick skin, 
I move along 
in slow surrender,
a surge of stalled strength.
Encumbered by myself
like an insular nation.

Some may render me glum.
Secretive, they say, rare. But what
do I want to know of their ways?
Deep underwater
is a better place to be.
Safe in my home,
no harry or hurry to disturb me.

Time, is my terrain.
Longevity my legend.
I am old in years and ways -
ninety years I have lived
but that is barely the circumference
of a life is it? Patience, perseverance,
virtues hard won.

I am like an animate rock.
A slab of shell, a dark shadow
of what the earth doesn't see.
Making my way through this earth
peaceably, keeping myself hidden, 
below the radar of reality.
I do not bother anyone. 

Now, captivity a knife in my soul.
Days long and the same.
Reduced to a boat that won't float,
an experiment that won't work, 
every millisecond a moment 
of mammoth shame.
My species, lost.  

Will I rise again like Kim Qui,
golden turtle god 
with Heaven's Will sword?
But is it a sword you see
when you look into my eyes?
I only aim to live solitary, unbothered

My elegy will say:
she was one of only four. And maybe -
one of those turtles that carry 
the universe on their backs.
Now that I am gone,
will you even miss me?
Will I bother anyone? 

Monday, 22 April 2019

Day 22: Ekphrastic

Image result for van gogh meadow almond blossoms
'Almond Blossoms' - Van Gogh

I love writing poems based on paintings. It's just so hard to pick a single painting to work from! All art is great poetry, and the words never feel good enough somehow, but still, they add another dimension and isn't that what art is for? Opening us to speculation, to beauty, to different ways of seeing and being. 

Anyway, harking back to yesterday's Van Gogh poem, I chose this one. 

Almond Blossoms

I love how they float
in a sea of wistful blue. 
Sweet white nothings
as fragile as feathers, 
soft with spring light.

Look long enough to see
them sway in the breeze, 
perfuming the air. 
Summer snow, 
a tender truth told.

You could feel 
he was happy then. 
A blossoming time.
Awakening and hope,
fortitude in sorrow. 

A beautiful day
captured on canvas, 
a beautiful heart 
in full bloom, unaware 
of the winds to come.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Day 21: Surreal

 Image result for the yellow room van gogh

Don't know why but I was inspired by Van Gogh for today's prompt of writing something surreal. I've been reading his letters recently and watching the trailer for the movie 'At Eternity's Gate', maybe that's it. 
(First draft so it's very rough...)

Yellow like the room 
of Van Gogh

burning daylight
colours too bright

the yellow room is sun
stared at too long

yellow room in a yellow town
attended by a mind overrun

poverty past talking about
yearning unaccounted for

the yellow room is claustrophobic
eternity's sore point, sulphurous -

the yellow room is frugal, fecund
articulate composition

the yellow room is gone
the sunflowers strong

the yellow room is not a room
in a house, but home

in a heart hollowed out
a hayfield at dawn

love, drawn out long
a soul seeking solace

on and on and on


Saturday, 20 April 2019

Day 20: Poem from a Phone

Image result for poem on a phone

Didn't go with the prompt today. A kind of limerick instead. About what I'm doing right now...!

Poem from a Phone

Long gone 
are the days of ink and feather -
to the phone now, 
I am tethered.

Blank page blinking cursor -
there is quite no other.
Type a poem in bed
just come into my head -

no need for pen and paper
fingers to the letter, 
digital is better
the phone much much quicker!

Friday, 19 April 2019

Day 19: Abecedarian

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Today's prompt is to write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet.

April Vibes






Thursday, 18 April 2019

Day 18: Elegy

Image result for shoes collection

Today's prompt is to write an elegy using specific concrete words.

Artefacts of the Dead

They leave behind a range of things:
toothbrushes in different hues, 
receipts and bills with the pain of names.
Empty chairs, a wardrobe of clothes
that from now on will go unused,
gathering memories like mothballs.

But it's the shoes that hit you in truth:
all lined up with nowhere to go. 
Footnotes to the living of a life,
a battalion of quiet quotidian intent -
laces tied up tight, finishing line in sight.
Reminders of the feet they held

and the places they went;
all the paths now that will never be tread. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Day 17: Unusual view

Image result for gargoyle of notre dame

Today's prompt is to write a poem that presents  a scene from an unusual view. Since Notre Dame is in my mind and everyone else's at the moment, it had to be this. 

Gargoyle of Notre Dame

They put me here
to protect Our Lady.
To keep a beady eye out
for scoundrels, evil spirits.
Those medieval minds
unsurpassable in superstition.

Contrary to popular opinion
I am not the devil's wingman -
grotesque as I may seem.
I am a keeper of safety,
guardian of sanctuary.
The cathedral's secret security.
to ward off danger or enmity
(the water spout is just an excuse.)

Centuries pass and I, in my cement state
am pressed to observe.
Look how I slump and slouch.
It's boring being a stone look-out. 

I have watched this city 
full of beauty and fierceness for too long.
Remember 1789?
I couldn't count
the heads that rolled by.
And the 1800s...the tricoleres, canon fire,
that small wiry guy
intent on pomp and glory,
the buildings fallen around me.
And then the Germans.

But she stood despite it all. 
Here was the heart that harboured
the lost in her forest of faith.
(Not to mention a lovable, malformed, wretch.) 
Cherry blossom shade, rose window blessings.
On the banks of the Seine, a place to rest,
space to lessen the grief of the ages. 
City of light, city of sin. 
Ile de la cite -
this one beautiful thing.

Now a fire rages behind me and she burns.
Mon Dieu!
I am powerless to stop it. I weep with you. 
But in the embers, solace abounds. Proof
that people still care 
about beauty 
even now.

What to do?

Light a candle, begin, believe again. 
Don't make a stone of the soul, 
like me.
Isn't that everything
here on earth?

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Day 16: Ordinary Thing

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Today's prompt is to write a poem from a list to defamiliarize the mundane...
I tried a few...


Little moons
we navigate morning by.

Californian loot.
Globular goodness. 

The colour of resolution 
or bitter realisation. 

Zest of truth. Fruit
of the sun, orb of warmth. 

White teeth of seeds



A fingernail. 
A silver smile. 

A slice of bright,
a segment of white. 

Hammock in the sky.
The quarter of a pie. 

Daytime orb of cloud. 
Crystal ball,

Mirrorball at night.
A flashlight left on. 

White rabbit pulled
from the hat of night. 

A trick, a truth, a clock
ticking with light.

A face, luminous, 

lit up with love.



Jumps the wall
is a white flash

crouches, pounces
hunter extraordinaire

little zen buddha

curled in a circle
a moon -

around which the household

furred feline
spirited friend.